Newtown Alive: Mobile Technology to Preserve Rich History

Over the course of time, historical facts and events tend to blur and dilute, eventually becoming lost. Historical accuracy becomes vital when handed down to future generations, and maintaining the integrity of each story becomes the premise for the creation of historical societies.

Undoubtedly, historical preservation serves as a daunting task and a serious responsibility. Newtown Alive, an award-winning, historical preservation and community revitalization project in Sarasota, Florida, utilizes a new method of bringing the process into the modern age with a cutting-edge mobile solution.

What Is Newtown Alive?

Newtown Alive focuses on the rich, century-long history of the local African American community. The Sarasota-based project aims to educate residents and tourists as part of a larger economic development plan. The City of Sarasota sponsors the project, consulting several experts including cultural anthropologists, historians, architects, marketers and communications specialists in an effort to spark economic growth, attracting new businesses and promoting current ones. The project planners also hope to encourage former residents back to the area.

To attain a more intimate connection with its audience, the Newtown Alive organizers dipped into the world of technology, speaking with mobile app companies to find a platform that would complement the project, introducing it to the possibilities of global engagement.

Historical Preservation Enters the Digital Age

The key to historical preservation is storytelling for the purposes of engaging and educating the audience. Typically, organizers of historical preservation projects rely on books, commemorative gardens, research reports, signage, and more to relay stories and accurately relate the history. The Newtown Alive project team published a research report, book, and website; however, they wanted more widespread engagement.  They needed an educational tool that visitors could take with them on tour through the community. Newtown Alive chose to employ a mobile app to capture the African American history of Sarasota. The app’s content filled with videos, historical photos and stories became a strong contributing factor to the project’s success. 

Benefits of Kocomojo App Creation

Having interviewed several app development companies, Newtown Alive selected KocoConnect, a visual, mobile app-building platform produced by Kocomojo, to realize the vision of leveraging mobile devices to reach an audience that includes younger generations, former residents, and military personnel.

Kocomojo’s software provides the ability to design and assemble an app quickly while maintaining control, making it an attractive option for organizations looking to utilize a mobile app. With KocoConnect, Newtown Alive was able to bypass hiring a team of mobile developers since the platform automates the coding as the screens are designed. The project leaders were able to manage their own content and production schedules.  They needed only to hire an app designer to achieve the project’s goals, thereby significantly reducing their costs. 

KocoConnect makes the development and update processes user-friendly, allowing the app administrators to make real-time updates. Anytime something new relating to Newtown Alive happens, users can access the most current information on their Newtown Alive App.

The Newtown Alive App is available in the App Store and Google Play.


If you’ve been thinking of using a mobile app to enhance your historical preservation project, or any project for that matter, contact Kocomojo today, and we will help you get the process started.